November 29, 2014

It’s not Friday today.  It’s Saturday, and I’m listening to the TED Radio Hour, ready to enjoy a day home with nothing of import to do.  I plan to knit a lot.  (I finished the sweater for Amy during my glucose tolerance test yesterday morning.  Now I need to finish the sweater for Courtney.)  And I plan to take breaks to move the Christmas decorations out of the storage unit and possibly start decorating.  There’s snow on the balcony, so all of the boxes will probably be moved at once so that I only have to put my boots on once.

I could have written this yesterday.  I was home early enough.  But it was a busy day.  And I hadn’t slept that well, so I was tired.  And it just didn’t feel quite right to make a list of the things that made me happy this past week.  A while ago, you may remember, I told you about my cousin’s friend’s five-year-old who had an inoperable brain tumor that was no longer responding to treatment.  And you may have just noticed that I used the past tense in that description.  Shawn emailed yesterday morning to let us know that Jenna passed away Thursday evening.  So while there is a nice list of happy things, it just didn’t feel right yesterday.

So on that note, here are some things that made me happy this week, several of which might cheer you up, too.

  1. Thanksgiving went pretty well this year.  I went up to my cousin’s with Matt and my dad.  Unlike last year, I did not have to walk into a house full of people who would want to hug me and touch me all at once.  And Laura and I had fun comparing belly sizes.  She has a C-section scheduled for three days before mine, but she hasn’t decided if she wants to try for a VBAC or not, so I might still have this baby before she has hers.
  2. I did some reading to catch up on my blogs.  NPR was a bonanza.  The dancer in me loved this piece about an Indian-American woman with Down Syndrome.
  3. MasterChef Junior is back.  I highly recommend this delightful take on the cooking competition.  The kids on this show put adults to shame.  We could all learn a lesson from them.  I also recommend this post by Linda Holmes about the show.  (And in keeping with my belief that Linda and I would totally be friends if we knew each other, we’re rooting for the same two little girls this season.)
  4. The New York Times decided to make a list of 50 dishes for Thanksgiving, one for each state.  (Michigan got German potato salad.  I don’t know how Michigan that dish is, but I do love German potato salad.  I believe our recipe came from my favorite Great-Aunt Elizabeth, who was first generation, her parents having immigrated from Germany.)  Some other suggestions, on the other hand…  Well, once again, I defer to Linda Holmes.  (Have I mentioned how much I love her?)
  5. One of my favorite NPR features each Thanksgiving week is when they talk to America’s Test Kitchen about recipe suggestions.  This year’s interview started out like a bad joke:  A vegan, a gluten-free, and a paleo walk into your Thanksgiving dinner…  Sure, you could read the article, but you really should listen to it; otherwise, you’ll miss the joy of listening to Chris Kimble try to roll out a gluten-free pie crust.
  6. And the last NPR happy moment goes, of course, to Linda Holmes.  You’ll have to listen to this one because there is no article associated with the interview.  Please enjoy this delightful discussion of made-for-TV Christmas movies.
  7. When I got home on Thanksgiving, I checked the mail.  There was a card, and I remembered that Lisa had tried to send a card a couple of months ago, but she didn’t have my current address.  And I thought, Lisa sent me a card!  And you know what?  Lisa sent me a card!  And, of course, it made me smile.  How could it not?
  8. And the other exciting thing in the mail was a large envelope from the Helen Hayes Hospital in New York.  The archives sent me two articles.  The first is a newspaper article from the ’70s interviewing a man who was a patient at the hospital back in 1909 when he was 12.  The second is an article from an orthopaedic journal from 1916 explaining treatment recommendations for tuberculosis of the bone and joint.  This is exactly the sort of information I was looking for, and I will definitely be incorporating this into the book.  There was also a handwritten note telling me to let them know if I need anything else, that they have a lot of photographs in the archives, too.  Such a wonderful gift!
  9. But one of the biggest happy things this week was having coffee with Paula yesterday.  It was nice to talk about pregnancy with someone else who’s lost a baby.  And we both had a good laugh over the education we gave to anyone who was sitting nearby.  If I weren’t part of the conversation, it’s definitely one I would have been eavesdropping on.  We suspect that some of the guys sitting near us were only pretending to be absorbed in their computers.

So despite the sadness of yesterday morning, there was a lot this past week that made me happy.  I hope you all had a good Thanksgiving, too.


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